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Vowel Length From Latin to Romance

By Michele Loporcaro

This book "draws on extensive empirical data, including from lesser known varieties" and "puts forward a new account of a well-known diachronic phenomenon."


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Letter Writing and Language Change

Edited By Anita Auer, Daniel Schreier, and Richard J. Watts

This book "challenges the assumption that there is only one 'legitimate' and homogenous form of English or of any other language" and "supports the view of different/alternative histories of the English language and will appeal to readers who are skeptical of 'standard' language ideology."


Academic Paper


Title: Why labial-velar stops merge to /gb/
Author: Michael C. Cahill
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: SIL International
Linguistic Field: Phonology
Abstract: Most languages with labial-velar stops (i.e. /kp/ and /gb/) have both the voiced and voiceless versions, but several dozen languages have only /kp/ or only /gb/. Examination of the stop inventories of such languages reveals that in languages which have only /kp/ there are always other gaps in the stop inventory, but languages which have only /gb/ usually have a full set of other stops, showing that there is a different historical mechanism involved. Also, ‘/gb/-only’ languages are more common than ‘/kp/-only’ languages, despite the cross-linguistic tendency to favour voiceless stops. Comparative studies show that ‘/gb/-only’ languages are often a result of a merger of *gb and *kp into /gb/. I propose that this merger is a result of three phonetic characteristics of the phonologically voiceless /kp/, qualities typical of voiced obstruents. Since *kp is already partly in the ‘voiced camp’, I hypothesise that hearers interpret it as voiced.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Phonology Vol. 25, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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